Information on Island Region of India

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This includes Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep which have typically equatorial cli­mate (annual rainfall less than 300 cm; the mean maximum and minimum temperature of Port Blair being 29.7°C and 23.7°C respectively).

The soils vary from sandy along the coast to clayey loam in valleys and lower slopes. Rice is the main crop followed by maize, jowar, bajra, pulses and planta­tion crops (areca nut, cassava, turmeric etc.). Nearly half of the cropped area is under coconut. The area is covered with thick forests and agriculture is in backward stage.

The main thrust in development should be on crop improvement, water management and fisher­ies. Improved variety of rice seeds should be popu­larised so as to enable farmers to take two crops of rice in place of one. New scientific methods of farming should be adopted to increase productivity of existing crop without harming the ecology. Old unproductive coconut trees should be replaced with better productive genotypes.

Rain water should be impounded in ponds and tanks for supplementary irrigation to raise a second crop of rice. For fisheries development multi-purpose fishing vessels for deep sea fishing should be introduced, suitable infrastruc­ture for storage and processing of fish should be built up, and brackish water prawn culture should be promoted in the coastal areas.


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